The Contributor Forum Technology Centre Business Development Personal Development

Eight Steps to Generate Prospects

Business Development Comments Off

Let’s say you have a PLAN, SALES PROCESS, and an understanding of your METRICS. It’s time to start building your online business. As with your offline business, your online business needs leads, or more specifically QUALIFIED PROSPECTS.

Assuming you know in detail the profile of your ideal customer, you need processes to get as many of them as possible to your website. If you don’t know the profile of your ideal customer, you need to find out! Here are some quick thoughts:

  • Is your ideal client predominantly male or female?
  • What income do they earn?
  • Where do they reside?
  • What age are they?
  • What common problems/challenges do they have?
  • Where/how are they seeking to have their problems solved?

There are many great resources available to assist you establish your clients profile (check out IQ’s ‘Resources’ ‘ToolBox’ sections). Your objective is to have as many qualified prospects as possible visit your website.

Even though you are driving qualified prospects to your website, only a small proportion will be ready to purchase at any specific point in time. This is not an attribute of the online medium, but rather the psychology of people.

The same situation exists in your offline business. For now, your sole objective is to generate qualified traffic. There are two pre-eminent ways to get qualified traffic to your website. They are somewhat obvious, but all too often overlooked! They are:

  1. GO TO WHERE THEY ARE! And,
  2. PROVIDE WHAT THEY WANT!

We’ll focus predominantly on GO TO WHERE THEY ARE. Possibly the #1 challenge faced by Internet business owners is the lack of (qualified) traffic. Obviously, if your web site isn’t getting any traffic, you’re not generating sales. But worse – without traffic, you can’t test the key components of your sales process…

And if you roll out a large traffic campaign BEFORE you’ve tested your website to make sure it converts maximum visitors into buyers, you risk losing sales and looking unprofessional to potential customers, business partners and affiliates.

So you’re caught in a vicious cycle – before ramping up a big traffic campaign, you need to test your sales process, but without any traffic, testing is difficult, if not impossible!

To tackle this problem, we’ve discussed eight traffic generating strategies to assist your online business. Click on the links below to find out great information that can (immensely) assist your business development:

  1. Get the Traffic You Need to Test Your Website, Fast!  
  2. Get Cheap Traffic Quickly with PPC Advertising!
  3. Get FREE Traffic from Search Engines Like Google
  4. Give Away Irresistible Free Content for Priceless Publicity
  5. Get FREE Links on Other High-Traffic Websites
  6. Get 1,000s of Websites to Promote Your Business – FREE!
  7. Get Free “Word-of-Mouth” Publicity Using Viral Marketing
  8. Use e-Mail Marketing to Attract Repeat Visitors

Source: http://www.coachingclub.com.au/

Coaching Scenarios: “Maintaining Success”

Professional Development Comments Off

“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change” (John A. Simone, Sr.)

A client started working with you a couple of years ago. She was dissatisfied with her current life; in particular with time management and procrastination-related issues in her professional career. After 24-months working diligently, she is experiencing great success in her career, and as a result she is extremely satisfied personally.

She has now decided to review her initial goals and ambitions, and in the last session she posed a common question: “what do I need to do to continue the success I have had in my life up to this point?”

Zahava Starak, LCI Master Coach, answers…

A very astute question. This client clearly realises that once you have succeeded in reaching your goals you are faced with a new set of challenges – that of maintaining your success. Before you begin tackling this concern, congratulate your client for a job well done and reinforce that their success is indicative of their abilities and drive and that whatever their next step is – they have the resources with which to address it.

Questions and Exercises

It now may be time for a life review to verify that the success attained and the life that comes with it is actually what your client wants. It is time for a reality check! This is accomplished by asking your client some powerful questions such as “Now that you are a success, are you living the life you want to?” “Is the kind of person that you are now, the person that you want to be?” and “Are you getting everything out of life that you want?”

The discussion generated by these questions will help your client to evaluate how they are generally experiencing their life – what is the overall “feel” of this success that they have achieved.

Next you can conduct an inventory that addresses all aspects of your client’s life to determine the levels of satisfaction in each. Simple questions such as “How do your family feel about your success?” and “What do you do for fun?’ can start a dialogue on the overall effects of your client’s success.
 
It is important to explore all facets of their life – including family (as already mentioned), other relationships, recreation, health and wellness and the spiritual. What you are determining is whether there has been a price to pay for this success and, if so, is this acceptable.

By the end of this process your client has a clear direction – either it is time to drastically change what they are doing – as the success they have is not what they want – or they have given their success a clean bill of health and want to maintain it and carry it further.

Success Strategies

Irregardless of  ‘what’ your client’s success looks like it – whether it relates to a new business venture, achievements in the field of academia or accomplishments in the sporting arena the steps you take next are relevant to any client wanting to continue along their successful path.

There are a number of procedures you can initiate to help your client maintain and build on their success. An obvious start may be to review the strategies that the client has used so far to help them achieve. It may be that some of these strategies were not that effective and can be eliminated all together, others may need some finetuning to upgrade performance, while others may be doing just fine.

For example if your client’s success is based on running a business they may find that the innovations they introduced to their product are perfect and need no adjustment. However it may be apparent that a marketing strategy they used was totally ineffective and so will no longer be used, while another promotional activity was so effective it will be upgraded to appeal to more diverse sectors in the population.

This reappraisal will not only affirm that all strategies are working at peak efficiency, they will assure your client that they are doing all the right things and thereby they will be further motivated to keep themselves travelling along this successful path.

It should probably be mentioned that when exploring strategies if it comes to light that certain people have played a key role in helping your client attain their success; your client can be encouraged to recognise their contribution, if they as yet have not done so. Positive reinforcement and attention can go a long way in reassuring repeat and heightened performances.

At this stage it is probably a good idea to also look at your client’s goals. It may be that your client may simply want to keep things going just as they are with a possible tweaking here and there. However it is also possible that success has inspired your client to focus on a new and greater vision.
 
In this case, a reality check will be required to ensure that your client is not blinded by their success before any action plans are implemented. Your client will be familiar with this next stage and if you have helped them in the past to attain their present success you will be able to accompany them as they undertake any new challenges.

While you are involved with your client in exploring both strategies and goals you can also be addressing another important aspect that reinforces their present success: professional development. A professional development plan will blend in with your client’s career path and can integrate the knowledge and skills your client has developed.

It will enable your client to look strategically at where they are now in relation to where they want to be and will help identify specific areas for ongoing professional development in order to maximise your client’s potential and ensure that they continue enjoying their present success.

In addition it will allow for more effective monitoring and reviewing of progress and this then leads into another activity your client can undertake to safeguard their present success: that of introducing significant milestone dates. This will permit them to regularly review their success indicators to assure that they are still on the right track.

By the time your client has reached this stage it is hoped they will be able to relax and enjoy their success with the assurance they have initiated all the appropriate strategies necessary to insure its continuation.

This case scenario is available from Coaching Club’s ‘Article Library’. To access other case studies, and hundreds of coaching resources, start your 30-day free trial at www.coachingclub.com.au.

Getting to the Heart of the Work You Were Born To Do

The Contributor Forum Comments Off

This is part 3 of the special series “Discover the Work You Were Born to Do”, by author Nick Williams.

By the end of this article, you will have explored:

  • The essence of the work you were born to do.
  • The idea of being a portfolio worker – or a ‘Renaissance Soul’.

The primary purpose of this section of the series is simple: to help you frame an idea of the work you were born to do. It won’t provide you with a strategy that explains exactly how to go about achieving it – that comes later – but it will help you discover and assimilate an idea of what YOU would most love to be doing in life.

Whatever threshold or frontier you are facing – there are nine ways to discover the work you were born to do – and each can offer insights into the nature of your deeper calling and your own next steps in life.

But before I share with you the ‘nine ways – I want to offer you a couple of ideas that will help to open your mind to new possibilities.

… The first is to think about the essence of the work you were born to do, and the second is to think about your ‘renaissance soul’.

The essence of the work you were born to do

We often think that a certain job will afford us particular experiences, so we focus on securing particular job titles or job descriptions as a means to guarantee particular experiences in our lives.

But here’s another tip.

We can also approach our search for work by exploring what I like to call the essence of the work we were born to do. This means thinking about the work we’d love to do in terms of the qualities and experiences that we want our work to involve.

Here are some examples of this way of thinking that you can affirm for yourself:

  • I want to be more creatively engaged and fulfilled.
  • I want to feel more appreciated.
  • I want more excitement and to feel that my own talents are more utilised.
  • I want to keep learning and growing and developing my skills and talents.
  • I want to feel free to set my own goals and to be in charge of my own time.

If you focus on this level, it will help you to become clearer about the heart of what you’d love to be doing – and then you can start exploring which types of opportunities (jobs/work/self-employment) might give you those experiences.

Are you a Renaissance Soul? Life as a ‘portfolio’ of work and interests

Here’s a liberating thought for you: don’t assume you have to find a single outlet for passion in your work…

… If you do focus on just one thing, you might find yourself saying, ‘Yes, that interests me – but so does this!’ You might find yourself wondering what one thing is going to be big enough to squeeze all of your interests and energy into!

Instead, the outcome of your process could be one of the following:

  1. You find a single grand passion and interest.
  2. You find a single grand passion, with a number of strands to it.
  3. You find a number of disparate passions and interests – all of which draw you.

Each of these outcomes are valid.

There may be a single work you were born to do, or there may be works you were born to do – each with a number of facets. Some people call this a portfolio career or lifestyle, but I prefer the idea that this kind of work marks you out as a ‘renaissance soul’.

It doesn’t mean rushing around, doing six things every day, or being hasty and scattered. Instead, it means creating a working life that allows us to express and utilise all of who we are, our talents, passions and interests.

We can design our portfolio life to give us space and time in which to reflect and in which to start developing new projects, products and services.

Let me give you an example: my own great passion lies in guiding people to discover and create work that is meaningful to them, and then helping them to turn that discovery into successful businesses. But this one great passion is expressed in multiple ways and via other passions of mine: e.g. through writing, speaking, broadcasting, coaching, consulting, teaching and creating products.

… and I combine these activities with yet another passion – travelling – and so I do all of these things in many different places around the world. However, although I love doing all of them some of the time, I wouldn’t want to do any of them every single day!

There are other people I know who have many passions: one client of mine runs a teashop AND teaches English as a foreign language AND also does the calling for folk and country dance festivals. These different activities all relate to aspects of who he is – involving the various passions that inspire him equally – and he would be incomplete without any one of them.

So don’t tyrannise yourself with the belief that you have to devote yourself to one single grand passion or interest in your life.

In the past you may have pressured yourself into conforming and pursuing one passion, squashing others along the way. There is a common belief that being a renaissance soul causes people to lose focus and become a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and master of none. In truth, you might well be a multi-faceted soul with a number of different passions, all of which you love, are interested in, and can succeed with.

So honour all those aspects of yourself.

In time, you may pursue a number of interests simultaneously and establish a number of different income streams (although – obviously – you need to start with just one).

So what are the characteristics of a renaissance soul?

A renaissance soul delights in variety and learns to honour that desire for variety – rather than seeing it as a problem or suffering from the belief that such an approach is in some way dysfunctional.

Other characteristics of renaissance souls include the following:

  1. A renaissance soul enjoys variety and likes to focus on different interests consecutively and sequentially.
  2. A renaissance soul is inspired by possibilities, by learning and growing. He or she likes branching out, evolving and opening up options rather than closing them down.
  3. A renaissance soul frequently wants to move onto something new once she gets good at something, rather than stick with the same old thing.

But you don’t have to be a genius to be a renaissance soul!

In pursuing a variety of passions, you may become good enough at them to generate income from one or all of them; or you may simply express your many interests through a range of activities, volunteering your time and talents in various ways that are meaningful to you.

However, being a renaissance soul is not just about pursuing a diverse set of activities; it is also about recognising and acknowledging the many facets of your identity.

Modern work can often demand a lot of a little of us – we use few of our skills and express the same aspects of ourselves over and over again, while the rest of our potential and ability goes unutilised. A renaissance soul enjoys finding ways of expressing all aspects of themselves.

For example, I know that within me there are many aspects of myself I enjoy expressing. In me, there is an artist, an entrepreneur, a deal maker, a mystic, a poet, a friend and a teacher. I like bringing all those aspects – and more – to my work.

A renaissance soul doesn’t want to leave any aspect of themselves out of their life!

About the Author:

Through his books, and live talks, workshops, personal coaching and on-line learning programmes, Nick has inspired tens of thousands of people to discover the work they were born to do. Nick then helps them to live that either through employment or by being entrepreneurial through their own business. He also helps them develop the wisdom and courage to harness their inspiration, talent and their fears as forces for growth and creativity.

Website: www.nick-williams.com
Blog: http://nickwilliams100.typepad.com

The Balanced Scorecard Series, Part 5

The Contributor Forum Comments Off

Source: www.askacoach.com

The Financial Perspective

Kaplan and Norton, in designing The Balanced Scorecard, do not disregard the traditional need for financial data. Timely and accurate data will always be a priority, and managers will do whatever is necessary to provide it. In fact, often there is more than enough handling and processing of financial data for many organisations.

Be clear about what financial data you want to track and what the purpose is to you for knowing that information. Also, as shown in the previous entries of this blog series, it’s important to understand what all of the various input factors are for each financial target.

If you have a target of making $X this quarter, then how many new customers do you need to attract? What processes are in place to attract those customers and ensure they convert to sales and are satisfied? And who knows how to do this, or if they don’t now, how can you teach them?

Coaching Exercises

Here are some questions to ask about your business. There are many more to be asked, so this is just a starting point.

  1. What are your high-level financial objectives?
  2. When do they have to be achieved by?
  3. Is there a particular order in which they need to be achieved?
  4. How are you evaluating these as important?
  5. How are you measuring these objectives? In other words, what data and reporting mechanisms do you have in place?
  6. What strategies do you have in place already, or which could be designed, to address each of the objectives? In some cases, there may be more than one strategy required to achieve the desired outocome?
  7. For each strategy, do you have any dates identified to achieve them?
  8. For each strategy, what are the measurement criteria and how specifically are you going to collect the data?
  9. Who is responsible for each strategy? What reporting do you need from them?
  10. For each objective, and for all stakeholders related to the achievement of that objective, what learning and devleopment objectives must also be met? These may also link to the internal business process objectives and the customer objectives.
  11. For each objective, what internal business process objectives must also be met? These may link to the customer objectives as well.
  12. If you have already been measuring certain financial objectives, and have been able to identify that one or more of them is underperforming, which related financial, customer, internal business process and/or learning and development objectives are also underperforming? This information may help you in identifying root cause of the problem, and from this awareness, you can explore new choices and actions to implement to correct the issue.
  13. If you’re unsure about the objectives, the data, causes of problems or opportunities to improve the situation, whom wihin or outside of your organisation could you be turning to for assistance? This is potentially part of your own learning and development.

As always, if you need any further personal support in response to any of these coaching exercies, please consider using the askacoach.com service.

All the best,
Noel

Noel Posus – Master Coach
www.askacoach.com

The Balanced Scorecard Series, Part 4

The Contributor Forum Comments Off

Source: www.askacoach.com

The Customer Perspective

Recent management philosophy has show an increasing realisation of the importance of custoemr focus and customer satisfaction in any business. These are leading indicators: if customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline, even though the current financial picture may look good.

In developing metrics for satisfaction, customers should be analysed in terms of kinds of customers and the kinds of processes for which we are providing a product or service to those customer groups.

To-Note:

Lead indicators refer to behaviours that the organisation must consistently demonstrate in order to achieve the strategic objectives. Lead indicators are forward thinking and focused. Lag indicators, on the other hand, are often past performance focused, meaning that an analysis is performed against past performance and new decisions made to enhance current performance. Typically a balance of both lag and lead indicators works well for an organisatoin, where lead indicators are the key strategic measurement.

Coaching Exercises

Here are some questions to ask about your business. There are many more to be asked, so this is just a starting point.

  1. What are your high-level customer objectives?
  2. When do they have to be achieved by?
  3. Is there a particular order in which they need to be achieved?
  4. How are you evaluating these as important?
  5. How are you measuring these objectives? In other words, what data and reporting mechanisms do you have in place?
  6. What strategies do you have in place already, or which could be designed, to address each of the objectives? In some cases, there may be more than one strategy required to achieve the desired outocome?
  7. For each strategy, do you have any dates identified to achieve them?
  8. For each strategy, what are the measurement criteria and how specifically are you going to collect the data?
  9. Who is responsible for each strategy? What reporting do you need from them?
  10. For each objective, and for all stakeholders related to the achievement of that objective, what learning and devleopment objectives must also be met? These may also link to the internal business process objectives and the financial objectives.
  11. For each objective, what internal business process objectives must also be met? These may link to the financial objectives as well.
  12. If you have already been measuring certain customer objectives, and have been able to identify that one or more of them is underperforming, which related financial, customer, internal business process and/or learning and development objectives are also underperforming? This information may help you in identifying root cause of the problem, and from this awareness, you can explore new choices and actions to implement to correct the issue.
  13. If you’re unsure about the objectives, the data, causes of problems or opportunities to improve the situation, whom wihin or outside of your organisation could you be turning to for assistance? This is potentially part of your own learning and development.

As always, if you need any further personal support in response to any of these coaching exercies, please consider using the askacoach.com service.

All the best,

Noel

Noel Posus – Master Coach
www.askacoach.com